SANCTUARY COVE - Rochelle Alers
Cavanaugh Island , Book1
Grand Central Forever
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0140-3
January 2012
Contemporary Romance

Sanctuary Cove, South Carolina - The Present

Deborah Robinson is a recent widow, her husband dying in a heroic manner after suffering from a scandalous accusation. She moves her seventeen-year-old son, Whitney, and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Crystal, to her childhood home in Sanctuary Cove on the island of Cavanaugh off the coast of South Carolina . From here her children can still attend their school in Charlotte , but won't be as exposed to the horrible behavior of former friends they suffered since their father's fall from grace, and the move will give Deborah a chance to heal and rebuild her life. After closing her bookstore in Charlotte , Deborah plans to open another, The Parlor, in the small tourist community. When Asa, a snowbird from Delaware , applies for the part-time job at the store, Deborah decides while she isn't looking for marriage, a romance with a snowbird might be what she needs. Everything goes according to plan until she discovers she loves a man who has no intention of remaining where he is. Can she recover from two such love losses?

Dr. Asa Monroe lost his wife and son over a year ago. Since selling his practice, he has drifted around while waiting for a response to his application from Doctors Without Borders. In the meantime, he decides to spend the winter in Sanctuary Cover. One sight of Deborah and long dormant feelings begin to emerge. He wouldn't mind a brief liaison with the lovely widow, but he plans to follow his dream to practice medicine with Doctors Without Borders. What he doesn't plan on is the depths his feelings for Deborah go.

Author Rochelle Alers's introduction of Deborah and the anguish found in the situation of her deceased husband's last months pulled me into this story. Another introduction was to this new setting for a series about the down-in-the-heels tourist community of Cavanaugh Island , a place filled with great characters seeking succor from heartbreak and injury. Deborah's story occasionally gets stuck in a minutia of detail like life in real families tends to do. She has a full plate with opening her bookstore, raising her children, listening to friends' advice, and dealing with her parents and the community's gossip. Asa, a man of unknown quality, is a complication, a situation that makes the romance worth reading. The journey for these two people out of grief and guilt is heartrending and heartwarming.

Robin Lee